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Poster: billymays55 Date: Oct 18, 2012 5:17pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Date in Notice and determining renewal period.

Mr. "Video Cellar"

It would seem you think you know everything about copyright law? And you for some reason have been appointed "god"
on this website regarding what is and is NOT public domain?
But now are admitting to giving every person posting on this forum and uploading films on this site that you had no idea about when a renewal was valid or not? And even better yet you are telling anyone who uploads films and researching them using your rules that a film that is public domain is liable to be sued? And to quote you:

"The reality is that once something goes up here and has a PD marker attached to it goes on 100s of mirrors and other
video sites. That doesn't impress some copyright owners - even the owners of catalog titles. A copyright owner always
has the option of pursuing the uploader either before or after a DMCA take down."


Well since you are the authority and posted this it would seem to fall back on you as everyone that is uploading films is going by your advice and rules and regulations that have been posted here for years.

I think you would be the one that should have legal action taken against as you are the "go to" guy if a film is Public Domain or not, so if anyone does get sued they can just bring up your post stating you "the almighty knowing Video-Cellar said it was public domain"


The Film Superlist has been out for 30 years and is considered a reliable source in the industry for public domain films for years and it has been updated as recent ans 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_Superlist

It also makes no mention of your renewal policy that you just made up today as "new policy" on this forum. I don't know about anyone else but I'm sticking with a US copyright attorney and a book that has been around over 30 years and has since been updated.

Again read my attached page of a scan from the FILM SUPERLIST MOTION PICTURES IN THE U.S. PUBLIC DOMAIN 1940-1949 VOLUME 2.

I have some questions for you!
Are you even an attorney?

What credentials do you have?

Who made you copyright authority for this site and message board?

And you don't even live in the US but are supposedly an expert on US laws? Why?

And what is your contact info so if anyone gets sued they can use your posts as to why they believed the film to be public domain.

PS I also find it extremely irritating that you use the word "lodge" it is incorrect English for Americans
that live here and speak in our culture....the correct term is "filed" NOT lodged.

Attachment: superlist.jpg

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Oct 19, 2012 2:53pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Date in Notice and determining renewal period.

First about the Superlist page you have quoted:
Why do you keep pointing to that page in "The Film Superlist"?

Lets have a look at the two examples you want to rely on.

1. Scientifiquiz. The argument is that the calendar year window is used to calculate the renewal window for works with an earlier year-in-notice. Under the rational used in this example, this would mean that the correct renewal window for Mannequin would be 1 Jan 1965 to 31 Dec 1965. When was it renewed again? 28 January 1965?

2. The Public domain distributor in question who was selling "An Itch in Time" contests that the film's renewal was late because it was "PUBLISHED" in 1946 and the 28th year renewal window is calculated based on that year. A 1976 renewal would be 2 years late.

These examples seem to support everything I am saying.

Secondly to your questions:

No I don't think I know everything about copyright. I think I have a lot or resources, books and information about copyright that I use to help people with their questions.

I don't remember being appointed "God". I must have missed that post.

Not admitting that I had no idea when any renewal was valid. Just admitting that I was previously unaware that the "Calendar Year Window" (must acknowledge the people at copyrightdata.com for creating the terms "calendar year window" and "anniversary year window") had to be taken into account for earlier years-in-notice on these works. A minor change to a still useful chart I thought. Why would I have to accept liability if I said the film was NOT PD. For the most part, people approach uploading to this site from the perspective of finding PD movies that aren't on here and uploading them. Of course, some others seem to be approaching it from the perspective of attempting to find seemingly copyright movies that aren't on here trying to find some mistake in the copyright registration and declaring the film PD or: the wrong approach.

I have already discussed the Film Superlist. Good resource. It seems to support what I'm saying. Not without its errors and mistakes, but overall a good source.

Are you even an attorney?
No. I teach and manage a archive movie business. Said this many times on here.

What credentials do you have?
Bachelor Arts/Law, Bachelor Teaching, Masters Educational Research

Who made you copyright authority for this site and message board?

5 years ago copyright data for renewals pre-1978 was scarce on the internet. I had the books and the time.

And you don't even live in the US but are supposedly an expert on US laws? Why?

I am only interested in copyright law. I have studied in detail a dozen international copyright systems. I also did comparative study of US and Australian Law as one of the major legal issues when I was studying was the implementation of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement and its impact on our copyright laws. Lastly, I have worked in a family business distributing public domain films for most of my life. It is knowledge that you just have to have.

And what is your contact info so if anyone gets sued they can use your posts as to why they believed the film to be public domain.

I rarely definitively say that a film is or is not PD and especially have not instructed a person to upload a film that was renewed in the way that you assert makes it public domain (I mean that really is the problem here isn't it?) my contact details are on my channel page.

PS I also find it extremely irritating that you use the word "lodge" it is incorrect English for Americans
that live here and speak in our culture....the correct term is "filed" NOT lodged.


No, you have it around the wrong way. Even in American usage a copyright claimant can "lodge" their registration form with the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office then dutifully "files" the registration within its records and registers. For as long as the standard American dictionaries define the transitive verb form of "lodge" as to "lay something before the proper authority" I'll continue to use the word.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-10-19 06:24:39

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-10-19 06:35:18

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-10-19 21:53:42

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Poster: Moongleam Date: Oct 19, 2012 5:49am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Date in Notice and determining renewal period.

All of the veterans here (including me) are very grateful for all of the time you have spent helping us determine whether films are public domain.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the following seems to be a way of being almost absolutely certain of uploading only p.d. movies.

1. Pick a U.S. film released before 1964.

2. Make sure that it seems to be p.d. according to the rules you listed above.

3. Make sure that it is sold by Alpha Video.


This post was modified by Moongleam on 2012-10-19 12:49:38

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Oct 20, 2012 12:01am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Date in Notice and determining renewal period.

Yes. I would add to number 3 any other major distributor of PD films including companies like Synergy, Reel, Film Chest, etc. But while always keeping in mind that all of these companies (Alpha included) deal in some licensed copyright material, so availability from "PD distributors" should never be used as a substitute for checking 1 and 2.